Friday, 26 November 2010


The weather has taken a turn for the worse at the moment and leaving my very warm house to get in to my very cold car at 8pm last night suddenly didn’t feel very appealing but I am yet to miss a lesson for any reason other than holiday and I’m certainly not going to start now.

We warmed up with shrimping and other various other movements across the mats and then were told that we were going to learn San-gaku-jime , or triangle choke to my BJJ/MMA friends. Under the BJA this is a 1st kyu (Brown Belt) technique but I have been shown this technique in BJJ and have pulled it off in Newaza as recently as last week. Strangely enough I had been told to check out a variation of the traditional way of doing this technique by someone following my blog and was told to type “Ryan Hall triangle” in to youtube. I was anxious to try out this variation myself but I had to wait until none of the instructors were looking before doing so.

I was paired with Big Stuart and we both got this technique working first time out. When Stuart applied the choke to me apparently my face very quickly turned red even though I didn’t feel overly in trouble but then I could slowly feel myself passing out but Stuart had already released the choke and I recovered very quickly. The beauty of this choke is that generally the person being choked doesn’t realise it and like I almost did, can slowly drift off to la la land. I mentioned to Stuart that I had just last night seen a variation of this technique and youtube so got to try it out. luckily enough I think I remembered it pretty well as Stuart commented that the choke was very tight, very quickly.

Graeme then showed us San-gaku-gatame , again this is a 1st kyu technique. We were shown this from a turnover situation exactly the same as the one on the BJA website, the link of which I have provided.

Moving on to some Tachi-waza we practiced Ippon-seoi-nage and Graeme broke down the throw in to different stages, i.e. breaking the balance, lifting Uke on to your back, and finally dropping you shoulder so that Uke falls to the floor. I was paired with Mark and when we got to the stage where he actually threw me I forgot that I was at Judo and forgot to breakfall, landing flat on my back. Lesson learned, Thou must remember to breakfall when thrown. Of course I didn’t admit to Mark that I had forgotten or that I had no breath left in my lungs, I just got on with being thrown again and this time slapped my arm down hard. Eventually I got my breath back and hopefully no one was any the wiser.

Before the class finished I got to do some more of my Yellow belt grading and was asked to pick a Uke. Without hesitation I picked Oli, who had been Peter and Graeme’s Uki for most of the techniques we did that night. This is probably due to two reasons, firstly Oli is fairly senior and secondly he was probably the lightest senior in attendance. I had to perform O-uchi-gari into Tate-shiho-gatame followed by Tai-otoshi into Yoko-shiho-gatame. Both done reasonably well and Peter ticked them both off. Next up was Escape from Kami-shiho-gatame and despite the fact I have only been shown this once many months ago, I did this well enough to pass.

I’m almost there now with this grading, just the turnovers and a couple more escapes to do before becoming a 5th Kyu. Ryan also made a start on his 6th kyu grading and Mark made a start on his 2nd kyu so some new colour belts could soon be worn all round.

Before we left Graeme asked if any of us were interested in a Newaza competition against another local club, probably to take part early next year. Everyone seemed keen so hopefully this will happen as I think we have a good chance of getting some medals particularly with Ryan who will no doubt be performing against other novice Judoka, but hopefully not against me.


  1. I like that Sangaku Gatame link you posted.

  2. Is it a new technique to you or is it just done a different way than you're used to?

  3. I've done triangle from front turtle before but this looks quicker than the one I know. I've never even attempted the one I know during sparring because I'm too slow with it. I like some of the Judo attacks against the turtle because they seem quick and simple. Maybe because you don't get as much time to mess about?

  4. There was a Black Belt Judoka who was also a BJJ Black belt at Nova Forca who was very quick at these sort of techniques. Best of both worlds I guess.

    BTW, I found this youtube vid of one of the BJJ reversals that I had trouble explaining. You can't quite see me in the video although I was actually there when it was filmed. Let me know what you think.

  5. He's showing a variation of the 'flower' sweep. It's a very good sweep because when people defend it, they usually post a hand on the mat to stop it. That opens them up to subs, especially the triangle. Braulio has had loads of success with his flower sweep to triangle combo at world level. This is defo a sweep you should drill given that your go-to sub is the triangle. I've linked a youtube clip that shows Braulio sparring at a seminar and he hits everyone with this combo. Note that his flower sweep is the simplest type. He only grabs the left gi sleeve (doesn't bother pulling their arm across) and he goes outside the left knee and just grabs a piece of gi. He does it in this basic way because he's looking to force their hand to the mat for the triangle rather than to complete a sweep. Going deep with the grips (like on Ricardo's demo) is more likely to result in a successful sweep rather than the sub. It's a very versatile move.

  6. Doh, forgot the link. He starts doing this move from 2:00 into the video.

  7. I haven't looked at this video yet but will have a look over the weekend. Cheers again.